John Annakin VIDEO EXTRA: Meet John Annakin, chief revenue officer for ClearObject (formerly CloudOne), who uses big data to help his firm bring enterprise applications to the cloud and provide a platform for IoT services and solutions. (Photo by John Underwood)

Big Business for Big Data

Krannert programs, faculty, alumni and students get analytical

Whether it comes from the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, Machine 2 Machine (M2M) or countless other forms of information technology, big data now permeates the world of business. And Krannert is at the forefront of the movement with new undergraduate and master’s programs in business analytics as well as a new research center that puts big data to work on real-world projects.

David HummelsAs Krannert dean and economics professor David Hummels remarked at this year’s Leadership Speakers Series, “Every company we talk to is generating — or maybe a better word would be ‘drowning’ — in data. Data about their production processes, inventories, suppliers, human resources, competitors, customers …  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard an executive say, ‘We’re generating all this data, but I don’t think we’re getting everything out of it we could.’

“Those executives and companies need a mesh point, and Krannert is committed to providing it through interaction with faculty and students who are deeply engaged in the question of how to use big data to drive decision-making. We are ready to serve as your mesh point in finding insightful ways to use data to drive profitability.”

Although the master's program in Business Analytics and Information Management (MS BAIM) and Business Information and Analytics Center (BIAC) are new, Krannert’s longtime mission to produce graduates who can use a data-driven approach to optimize business performance is exemplified by numerous Krannert students, faculty and alumni who employ data analytics on a daily basis.

Among them is John Annakin, who used his 1991 undergraduate degree in industrial management and a minor in computer science to build a 25-year career in the application software, cloud services and software-as-a-service industry.

In his current position as chief revenue officer for ClearObject (formerly CloudOne), Annakin has played a key role in making the Fishers, Indiana-based company a leader in bringing enterprise applications to the cloud and providing a platform for IoT services and solutions.

With a sales growth of 393 percent, ClearObject has made Inc. magazine’s annual list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies for three consecutive years. The company also made Indianapolis Business Journal’s  “Fast 25” list of the fastest-growing companies in Indianapolis for 2015 and 2016 and marked its debut on the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s 11th annual “Best Places to Work in Indiana” list in the small-employer category for 2016.

Annakin says the heart of ClearObject’s success is its “IoT Lifecycle” model that helps companies define, design, develop, test and ultimately unify their existing but frequently disconnected systems and components. The company uses a combination of different technologies to enable collaborative development and data analytics while deploying software that enables the analysis of data in real time, all on individual, secure and hybrid cloud environments.

“Breaking the model into categories allows us to evaluate and analyze the methods an organization uses to collect, store, analyze and visualize data. It helps us identify where there may be a bottleneck or opportunity within an existing system to introduce technology that would best fill the space.”

“When these components work together and data — many times coming from devices that are the ‘things’ in the Internet of Things — is run through this entire process, it emerges both actionable and profitable,” he says. “That has an immediate and innovative impact on the way our customers do business.”

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